Chapter 7 Fee Waivers

• The district court or the bankruptcy court may waive the chapter 7 filing fee for an individual debtor who: (a) has income less than 150 percent of the income official poverty line applicable to a family of the size involved;  and (b) is unable to pay that fee in installments.

• The income for comparison to the poverty guidelines is the "Total Combined Monthly Income" as reported (or as will be reported) on Line 12 of Schedule I. Non-cash governmental assistance (such as food stamps or housing subsidies) is not included. The income of a spouse is included whether or not a joint petition is filed, unless the spouses are separated and a joint petition is not filed. The income of any other family member listed on Schedule I as a dependent also is included.

• "Family size" is defined as the debtor(s), the debtor's spouse (unless the spouses are separated and a joint petition is not being filed), and any dependents listed on Schedule I.

• A debtor is not disqualified for a waiver of the filing fee solely because the debtor has paid (or promised to pay) a bankruptcy attorney, bankruptcy petition preparer, or debt relief agency in connection with the filing.

• In any determination regarding a filing fee waiver application, the debtor has the burden of showing that the application should be granted.
 

United States Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines

150% of the HHS Poverty Guidelines for 2017

Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived (official form)